BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - This coming summer, New Jersey Youth Theatre (NJYT) will be presenting the Broadway masterpiece, Into the Woods, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. Performances will be presented July 21-August 7 at the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.

In the photo is Gemma Eshelman, one of the very talented performers joining the cast this summer. She is sharing the role of "Little Red" with Kathryn Kalaigian of Scotch Plains. Gemma is from Bloomfield and she is very excited to be making her NJYT debut in "Into The Woods". Her past productions include "Godspell"(Ensemble), "Seussical"(Jojo), "Legally Blonde" (Kate), and "The Pajama Game" (Mabel). Gemma has also performed in numerous theatre projects and cabarets. NJYT Artistic Director, Cynthia Meryl said: “We are especially delighted to be collaborating with the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts. The school is a state leader in training musicians and vocalist and we are proud to be invited into their venue, and one that is quite a bit different than our past performing spaces. In this intimate setting, we will have the opportunity to present Into the Woods environmentally, so that the audience feels they are actually in the woods. This will be a creative challenge, and a totally different theatrical experience for the participants and audience members.”

Into the Woods brings everyone's favorite storybook characters together for a timeless yet relevant piece and rare modern classic. The story follows a Baker and his Wife who wish to have a child, Cinderella who wishes to attend the King's Festival, and Jack who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his Wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

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For general NJYT information, go to or call 908-233-3200.

For tickets, go to or call 908-790-0700, ext. 20.